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How to Make the Most Vibrant Green Beer for St. Patrick's Day

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Because it just isn't St. Patrick's Day without green booze

Bet ya didn't know that St. Patrick's real official color is blue, right? The fact kind of changes our whole perspective on St. Patrick's Day festivities — but that's OK. We're going to keep chugging our green beer anyway. Here's our step-by-step guide for how to make the best green beer ever — and if beer isn't your thing, we've got some pretty tasty green cocktail recipes for you too.

More: Boozy Lucky Charms milkshake will start your St. Patrick's Day off right

Now, let's get down to business. Here's all you need to know to get your suds a vibrant shade of emerald green.

1. Buy light beer

No, it doesn't have to be low in calories, but the color of the beer you use is important. You want to use a light-colored beer so the food coloring will easily mix. Using a dark beer (like Guinness) will require too much food coloring which may change the flavor of the beer, or not even color the beer at all.

2. Food coloring goes in first

Making green beer is super easy, being that there are only two ingredients: beer and food coloring.

Start by adding three drops of green food coloring for each bottle of beer. Adding the food coloring to the bottom of an empty glass works best because when you pour the beer on top, it will help mix it. Adjust the color by adding more dye if you like.

3. Blue and yellow make green

Blue food coloring works also, because when mixed with a brighter yellow beer it makes for a nice green colored brew. But be sure to test a drop of blue in a taster of the beer to see the result.

Now, on to the cocktails!

Emerald Isle Martini

Because it just isn't St. Patrick's Day without green booze
Image: DrinkedIn

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce green colored crème de menthe
  • 2 drops bitters
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine all liquid ingredients in a martini shaker with ice. Shake until frothy.
  2. Strain into an ice-cold martini glass and garnish with a few springs of mint.

Drunken Green Fairy

A post shared by mila (@spxxhg) on

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 shot Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1 shot absinthe
  • 2 shots Irish whiskey

Directions:

  1. Pour the Irish cream in a tumbler. Top with absinthe, then top with whiskey. The cocktail will have a layered effect.
  2. This can also be made into a shot by using 1/2 shot of Irish cream and absinthe and 1 shot of whiskey, layered in a shot glass.

Emerald Beach

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Midori
  • 2 ounces vodka (plain or flavored)
  • Few drops white cranberry juice
  • Berries or lime for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine all liquid ingredients in a martini shaker with ice.
  2. Shake well and pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with fruit.

Green Goblin

Because it just isn't St. Patrick's Day without green booze
Image: Real Housemoms

Via Rachel Willis of Real Housemoms

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces cherry flavored vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces peach schnapps
  • 1 1/2 ounces sour apple pucker
  • 1/2 ounce sweet and sour mix
  • 1 drop green food coloring for a richer green color, if desired

Directions:

  1. Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled half way with ice.
  2. Cover and shake well.
  3. Pour over ice in an old fashioned glass.
  4. Serve
  5. Add lime wedge to rim for garnish if desired.

More: 3 Spiced Rum Cocktails to Warm Up Your Cold Winter Bones

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Because it just isn't St. Patrick's Day without green booze
Image: Lea & Jay

Originally published March 2011. Updated March 2017.

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